The building of a Discover Robin Hood visitor attraction has moved a step closer after confirmation the £13 million funding needed to complete the project has been secured.
Developers Discovery Attractions now hope to draw up final contracts with Nottinghamshire County Council in the next six to eight weeks.
They will then seek planning for the project which they are hopeful of securing swiftly in a bid to complete phase one - including a new café and visitor centre - in time for the 2015 summer season.
“We always believed it was a very fundable project and we’re happy to have the finance in place,” said Discovery Attractions’ marketing director Rob Gray.
“It has taken longer than anticipated, but that’s no reflection on the strength of the project, more of the economic background, but that has eased considerably in the last four months.
“It means we can actually get on and do what we promised - and that’s to build a world-class visitor attraction and provide new facilities that will benefit both those coming from across the world and the people of Nottinghamshire.
“Robin Hood is a global brand and the area - which is his spiritual birthplace - deserves to benefit from what that can bring.”
The new attraction is likely to bring an estimated 100 jobs and also a significant boost to the local economy from extra tourism.
Nottinghamshire County Council first chose Discover Attractions as its preferred bidder in October 2012.
“We are delighted Discovery Attractions has announced it has now secured funding for the Robin Hood attraction at Sherwood Forest,” said Derek Higton, the council’s service director for Youth, Families and Cultural Services.
“The council now needs to undertake a thorough process of financial and legal checks with Discovery and its funders to ensure that the project can move smoothly on to the next stage.
“That involve the finalisation of our contractual arrangements for the delivery of the new visitor centre and accompanying attractions. We’re hopeful that this process can be concluded over the next few weeks.
“We have worked closely with Discovery Attractions to progress this multi-million pound project ever since they were announced as the preferred bidder.
“We are pleased that we are another step closer to a world-class Robin Hood attraction at Sherwood Forest.”